Hyderabad: There is more than what meets the eye in the current exercise to upgrade Gram Panchayats into Municipalities and Municipal Corporations.
The N Kiran Kumar Reddy government has a measured motive behind such an exercise to keep in check Kadapa rebel leader and MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy who had been as much anxious to pocket the entire Local Bodies for his onward march.
So far, a dozen Gram Municipalities have been upgraded into Municipal Corporations, spread over in four or five districts, Nalgonda, Khammam Nellore, Mahabubnagar districts. Another three Municipalities, Chittoor, Karimnagar and Ongole, were upgraded into Corporations on Friday.
The decision in respect of the three Corporations had been taken today and the process would be finalized shortly. Perhaps more Gram Panchayats would be converted into either Municipalities or Corporations depending on the modalities and requirements of the local people and the scope based on population, funds position among others.
Earlier, a fortnight ago, Municipal Administration Minister M Mahidhar Reddy had made it clear that such an exercise was in the offing. He had also made it clear that BC quota problem did not arise in respect of Local Body civic polls as the total quota stood at some where 44 percent or so and there was immense scope for more BC candidates to be in the Municipal polls’ fray.
Unlike the Gram Panchayat Raj institutions’ Sarpanches’ irksome quota which stood at 61 percent the Municipalities had a ‘good cushion’ as quoted by the Minister, to accommodate more Backward Classes’ candidates. The Minister had given an inkling over such a development.
The Supreme Court’s ceiling quota is 50 per cent and as challenged by the AP Sarpanches’ Association, the state High Court had stayed the polls for Sarpanches quite recently.
It was misconstrued that the Court’s ruling was a jolt to the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government. Factually speaking, the ruling has been a blessing in disguise.
The Court rather gave a breathing time for state government to consummate its much delayed exercise – Upgradation in respect of Gram Panchayats for which the Kadapa defiant leader had already prepared ‘sufficient’ grounds to repeat the his by-elections landslide victory.
The Congress government/ Congress party more or less faced a piquant situation with party desertions, ‘coverts’ in the Cabinet, some MLAs switching sides plus dissensions in the rank and file.
In this scenario, the time was not ripe at all for the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government to conduct Local Body elections. If at all, the state government did go ahead, the outcome would have been quite dismaying for the Congress.
Reliable sources asserted that the ‘wise’ Chief Minister saw to it that all the top slots were filled up as stipulated with his men, including the APCC chief. And now the ‘current exercise’ was being implemented to counter any enemy and another interesting exercise – Cabinet reshuffle – which is round the corner would come in quite handy for the Chief Minister to emerge as a mature politician.(INN)